Zany Golf, also known as Will Harvey's Zany Golf, is a video game with a fantasy take on miniature golf, developed by Sandcastle Productions and published by Electronic Arts. The game was originally developed in 1988 for the Apple IIGS and became the first Apple IIGS game to attract the mainstream gaming market and be ported to other platforms. It was subsequently ported to the Amiga, Atari ST and DOS machines. In 1990 it was ported to a video game console, the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.
The game is played in a 3D isometric viewpoint and allows up to 4 players.
The game was developed by Will Harvey, Ian Gooding, Jim Nitchals, and Douglas Fulton. This game was developed while Harvey was pursuing his advanced degrees at Stanford University.
Zany Golf is a version of mini golf with some features that are impossible in real, physical mini golf. Zany Golf only consists of half a golf course, i.e. 9 holes, although there is a bonus hole.
At the beginning of the first hole, all players are given five strokes. On completing each hole, the remaining players are given more strokes equal to the par of the next hole. If a player runs out of strokes, he or she is eliminated and the other players are allowed to continue. The game ends when all players are eliminated or when the last hole is completed, and the scorecard is displayed.
On all versions except the Genesis version, the mouse is used to shoot the ball by clicking on it, pulling back in the reverse direction of the eventual shot, and releasing. On occasion, fairies are placed on the course; hitting them awards anywhere from 1 to 5 bonus strokes. Also, a timer bonus may be possible. If the hole is finished quickly, the player may earn up to four bonus strokes. If a fairy is present or a timer bonus is available, it will be announced prior to the first shot.
Up to four players can play the game by taking turns, with player 1 having a red ball, player 2 a blue ball, player 3 a black ball, and player 4 a white ball. Once a player's turn is complete, it disappears from the course and is replaced by an X mark of that player's color, which cannot be disrupted by other players' balls. Multiple players can work together to hit the necessary targets on the Pinball and Energy holes. Once the drop targets or computer buttons have been hit, they need not be hit by any other player.
Due to the lack of a mouse or similar pointing device, the Sega Genesis edition of the game omitted the 'Magic Carpet' hole. Instead, the 'Mystery' bonus hole from the computer game appears after 'Ant Hill', although it was renamed 'Knockout Nightmare'.
The DOS version also included a code wheel as a form of copy protection. Before the Hamburger hole, the game gives a prompt which requires the player to rotate the wheel into a certain position. Giving the correct result allows the player to continue the game.
The musical score in the original version was designed to exploit the unique 15-voice Ensoniq music synthesizer in the Apple IIGS computer. For this reason other ports, while most were able to mimic the game graphically, had to be considerably scaled down in terms of the music quality. For example, the music in the DOS version is limited to the PC speaker and the Amiga version had to omit musical instruments as well as cut out notes because of its 4-voice limit (which was further limited due to the use of in game sound effects requiring further voices).